Tech & OnlineWhatsApp's new features: what you need to know when...

WhatsApp’s new features: what you need to know when you use the application

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WhatsApp introduces a way to hide the app’s “Recently Seen” status from certain contacts, as well as the ability to leave a group without notifying other users.

Last December, WhatsApp began hiding users’ online status from strangers by default. While this was a step in the right direction, according to this tweet, all contacts can still see if you’re online.

However, the upcoming WhatsApp update should fix this issue by letting you choose who can see your status. So if you don’t want someone to know that you’re ignoring their message, you can set a special setting for that user and they’ll (hopefully) never know.

New features of WhatsApp

WhatsApp is also introducing another useful feature that allows you to set groups “on silence”. At that point, the app will notify every user in the group that you’ve left, which might prompt some members of the group to send you a private message asking why you left the group. The new feature is the digital equivalent of the Irish goodbye – leaving a party without telling anyone – and should help eliminate the awkwardness that comes with leaving a chat.

WhatsApp's new features: what you need to know when you use the application
WhatsApp’s new features: what you need to know when you use the application

WhatsApp plans to roll out both of these features later this month, and is also working on a way to prevent users from taking screenshots of “view once” messages. Unlike disappearing messages, “View Once” messages don’t disappear after a set time limit – they disappear after the recipient has seen them once, like a photo or video sent via Snapchat.

The ability to lock screenshots could prevent users from saving or sharing sensitive information. The feature is still in testing, but WhatsApp says it’ll begin rolling it out to users “soon.”

WhatsApp has also made some other small but important updates this year. In addition to introducing emoji responses and a way to speed up voice messages, the platform has also begun allowing Android users to transfer their chat history to their iPhone.

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